on the homepage of our site we display an ad container whose purpose is to call attention to a unique feature that only we offer. Currently there is only one textlink on the container that reads LEARN MORE>>. I feel it will be easier for users if the entire container is also clickable. Do you see this as potentially hurting the clicks? I can only imagine that it will be well received because it is easier to click a big container.
Yes, the entire container should be clickable, not just the call to action text/button. On my e-commerce site, all ADs, promotions, and even grid SKUs on product listing page are entirely clicable. This, we've found, is easier for users to navigate because they won't have to pin point the exact link or button.
Unless you have multiple actionable elements in the container, making the entire container clicable is the way to go.
Some example from Apple and Amazon:
Even Scientifically it's much better if you have a bigger clickable area. But It's just about making the whole box clickable. You need to give right kind of feedback on HOVER of BOX, CALL TO ACTION. Also, I would suggest you to strip off all the UNNECESSARY text from your ad. It would be much better if you could identify the KEY WORDS that give an idea about your service. As you are anyway explaining everything in details on a separate page.
I would just learn from how Google does. Google ads have entire ad container clickable, whether ad being shown on youtube video or a banner in a website (check this random post I found which has google adsense).